|Born||28 February 1987|
Good Sad Happy Bad
|Also known as||Micachu and the Shapes (2008-2016)|
Mica Levi (/ /;), also known by their stage name Micachu, is an English singer, songwriter, composer and producer. They are classically trained and since 2008 have released experimental pop music with their band Good Sad Happy Bad (formerly Micachu and the Shapes), including their critically praised debut album Jewellery in 2009.
In 2014, Levi branched out into film composing, creating the score for the Jonathan Glazer film Under the Skin. Their work was widely praised and Levi received a European Film Award for Best Composer and a BAFTA Award for Best Film Music nomination. Their score for Pablo Larraín's Jackie received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score.
Levi was born and raised in Surrey, England. and studied at the Purcell School for Young Musicians from the age of nine. Their father is a visiting professor of music at Royal Holloway, University of London, and their mother teaches cello. Their paternal grandmother is Romanian. Levi started writing and playing music at the age of four.
Levi moved to London in their teens and performed as a DJ and released a mixtape titled Filthy Friends, which was posted on their official Myspace page. For Filthy Friends they enlisted the help of friends and musicians of various backgrounds including MCs Baker Trouble, Brother May, Man Like Me & Ghostpoet, singer-songwriter Jack Peñate, jazz band Troyka, London pop-band Golden Silvers as well as producers Kwes and Toddla T. Following its release, Filthy Friends became sought after on the London club scene.
Levi was an Artist-in-Residence at the Southbank Centre in London in 2010.
Levi co-wrote and produced Tirzah's I'm Not Dancing EP, which was released by Greco-Roman Records in August 2013, to critical acclaim.
Levi contributed to the soundtrack for Phil Collins' Ceremony at Manchester International Festival 2017.
Micachu and the Shapes/Good Sad Happy Bad
Levi formed a band called Micachu and the Shapes, which included Raisa Khan on keyboards and Marc Pell on drums. They signed to Accidental Records. With the Shapes, Levi's focus was experimental pop music. Most of the music prominently featured an acoustic half-guitar with various non-standard tunings, extensive distortion, and use of noise and found-object elements, as well as occasionally unusual time signatures. Despite these experimental leanings, the artist categorizes their output with the Shapes as "pop music."
Their debut album, Jewellery, produced with electronic musician Matthew Herbert, was recorded around Levi's composition studies at Guildhall School. Advance copies of the record reached the press in early 2009, and generated positive feedback. In the wake of this growing buzz, Micachu and the Shapes were signed to Rough Trade, which released Jewellery on 9 March 2009. Drowned in Sound consequently hailed the record as "thrillingly improbable pop made by a grade-A maverick".
In 2009, the band received a grant from the PRS for Music Foundation. Micachu and the Shapes toured widely throughout the UK, including performances at Bestival and V Festival. The band played in the US at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City and SXSW in Austin, Texas. They also performed on the main stage of the Siren Music Festival at Coney Island in Brooklyn, in July 2009. Touring continued throughout Europe and North America in the summer and fall of 2009. In early 2010, Micachu and the Shapes supported Spoon on tour throughout North America.
The band performed with the London Sinfonietta at Kings Place, London, in May 2010, and in March 2011 released the live recording as the album Chopped and Screwed. Unlike their previous effort, the recording largely avoided pop sensibilities in favor of a slower, hip-hop indebted style and repetitive, discordant string arrangements. The band were chosen by Animal Collective to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival that they curated in May 2011 in Minehead, England.
The follow-up to their debut, Never, was released on 23 July 2012. The band then released the album Good Sad Happy Bad on 11 September 2015. In March 2016, the band announced on social media that they were changing their name to Good Sad Happy Bad. The band then expanded to a four-piece, adding multi-instrumentalist and producer CJ Calderwood and Raisa Khan becoming the band's lead vocalist.
In September 2020, the band announced their return with a new single, "Shades".The track served as the title track to Shades, the band's fourth studio album and first under the name Good Sad Happy Bad. It was released on October 16 2020 via Textile Records.
Levi's first major film score was for Jonathan Glazer's 2014 film Under the Skin. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Michel Faber and stars Scarlett Johansson. Produced at age 26 and created in collaboration with Glazer, Levi's film score themes are so tightly woven into the film that they give a symbiotic quality, in which the aural feels inseparable from the visual. The score was widely acclaimed for pushing the boundaries of music and sound design and Levi was nominated for multiple awards. They won Best Composer at the 2014 European Film Awards, and tied with Jonny Greenwood for Best Music/Score at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Critics Awards. They were also nominated for the 2015 BAFTA Award for Best Film Music.
In 2016, Levi completed their second major film score, for Pablo Larraín's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis biopic Jackie. Larraín had been a juror at the 2013 Venice Film Festival, and thought that Under the Skin deserved a film score prize. Composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, also on the jury, was enthralled by Levi's bold score for the film, and he and Larraín spoke passionately of their accomplishment, which led to the collaboration on Jackie. Levi was nominated for Best Original Score at the 89th Academy Awards, making them the fifth non-male nominated in the category, but lost to Justin Hurwitz for La La Land.
Levi's third major film score was for the 2017 science-fiction film Marjorie Prime and their fourth was for the 2019 film Monos. In December 2019, it was announced they would be writing the score for the dark-comedy thriller film Zola.
In December 2020, Levi came out as non-binary.
|2012||Never (with the Shapes)
|2014||Under the Skin (OST)
|2015||Good Sad Happy Bad (with the Shapes)
|2016||Remain Calm (with Oliver Coates)
|2018||Slow Dark Green Murky Waterfall (with Eliza McCarthy)
|2020||Shades (with Good Sad Happy Bad)
|2011||Chopped and Screwed (with the Shapes and the London Sinfonietta)
|2010||Kwesachu Mixtape Vol.1 with Kwes.
|2011||Meat Batch with Kwake Bass
|Chopped & Screwed Mixtape with Brother May
|2012||Kwesachu Vol. 2 with Kwes.
|2014||Feeling Romantic Feeling Tropical Feeling Ill
Singles / EPs
- "Golden Phone" (2008)
- "Lips" (2009)
- "Turn Me Well" (2009)
- "I'm Not Dancing" (2013) (with Tirzah)
- "No Romance" (2014) (with Tirzah)
- "Thinking of You" (2015) (with Nozinja, Tirzah and Mumdance)
- "Make It Up" (2015) (with Tirzah)
- "Taz and May Vids" (2016) (with Tirzah and Brother May)
- "Looking Up at the Sun / Mash One" (2016) (with Good Sad Happy Bad)
- "Clothes Wear Me" (2016) (with KEVIN)
- "Delete Beach" (2017)
- "Obviously" (2018) (with Tirzah as Taz & Meeks)
|2021||Tirzah||all tracks||Colourgrade (LP)||Domino||Production, co-mixing with Kwes|
|2019||Wiki||'Dame Aquí (feat. Princess Nokia)'||Oofie (LP)||Wikset||Co-production with Alex Epton, Rob Mack and Tony Seltzer|
|2019||Mica Levi||all tracks||Monos (OST, LP)||Invada, Lakeshore||Composer, production|
|2019||Brother May||all tracks||Aura Type Orange (LP)||self-released||Production on all tracks; co-production on 'Reppin' with Rob McCormack and 'Backpack Melody' with Coby Sey|
|2018||Tirzah||all tracks||Devotion (LP)||Domino||Production, co-mixing with Kwes|
|2018||Taz & Meeks||'Obviously'||Taz & Meeks / Brother May / Coby Sey (Compilation EP); Curl Compilation (Compilation LP)||Curl||Production|
|2017||Mica Levi||all tracks||Delete Beach (Single)||DDS||Production|
|2016||Mica Levi||all tracks||Jackie (OST, LP)||Milan||Composer, production|
|2016||Mica Levi & Oliver Coates||all tracks||Remain Calm (LP)||Slip||co-production with Oliver Coates|
|2016||Good Sad Happy Bad||all tracks||Mash One / Looking Up at the Sun (Single)||self-released||co-production as part of Good Sad Happy Bad|
|2016||Brother May||all tracks||May & Meeks (EP)||Curl||Production on all tracks, mixing|
|2016||Micachu||all tracks||Taz & May Vids (EP)||DDS||Production on all tracks, mixing|
|2015||Wiki||'Cherry Tree'||Lil Me (Mixtape)||Letter Racer||Co-production with Sporting Life|
|2015||Tirzah||all tracks||Make It Up (Single)||Greco Roman||Production|
|2014||DELS||'RGB'||Petals Have Fallen (LP)||Big Dada||Production|
|2014||Micachu||all tracks||Feeling Romantic Feeling Tropical Feeling Ill (Mixtape)||DDS||Composer, production|
|2014||Micachu and the Shapes||all tracks||Good Sad Happy Bad (LP)||Rough Trade||co-production as part of Micachu and the Shapes|
|2014||Tirzah||all tracks||No Romance (EP)||Greco Roman||Production|
|2014||Mica Levi||all tracks||Under the Skin (OST, LP)||Rough Trade, Milan||Production|
|2013||Tirzah||all tracks||I'm Not Dancing (EP)||Greco Roman||Production|
|2012||Micachu and the Shapes||all tracks||Never (LP)||Rough Trade||co-production as part of Micachu and the Shapes|
|2012||Kwesachu||all tracks||Kwesachu Vol. 2 (Mixtape)||self-released||Production with Kwes|
|2011||DELS||'Violina', 'Melting Patterns'||Gob (LP)||Big Dada||Production|
|2011||Micachu hosted by Brother May||all tracks||Chopped & Screwed Mixtape (Mixtape)||self-released||Production|
|2011||Micachu & Kwake Bass||all tracks||Meat Batch (Mixtape)||BTS Radio||Production|
|2010||Micachu & the Shapes with the London Sinfonietta||all tracks||Chopped & Screwed (LP)||Remote Control and Rough Trade||co-production as part of Micachu and the Shapes|
|2009||Kwesachu||most tracks including 'Closer (cover of Ne-Yo's song) ft. Romy of The xx'||Kwesachu Mixtape Vol.1 (Mixtape)||self-released||Production with Kwes|
|2009||Micachu and the Shapes||all tracks||Jewellery (LP)||Rough Trade||co-production as part of Micachu and the Shapes w/ Matthew Herbert|
|2009||Micachu||most tracks||Filthy Friends (Mixtape)||self-released||Production|
As featured artist
- Speech Debelle - "Better Days" (2009)
- Babyfather - "God Hour" (2016)
- Arca - "Think Of" and "Baby Doll" (2016)
- Mount Kimbie - "Marilyn" (2017)
- Stubborn - Mid (2020)
- Bar Italia - letting go makes it stay (2021)
Awards and recognition
- "Mica Levi". Soundtrack.net. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
- "Micachu | Biography, Albums, & Streaming Radio | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- Mica Levi: Under the Skin OST Album Review. Pitchfork (17 April 2014). Retrieved on 2017-02-25.
- Weingarten, Christopher R.. (29 December 2014) Mica Levi, 'Under the Skin: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack' | 20 Best Avant Albums of 2014. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2017-02-25.
- "Album Review: Mica Levi - Under The Skin OST | The Line Of Best Fit". 25 March 2014. Archived from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
- "Oscars 2017: Mica Levi's Jackie Nominated for Best Original Score | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- Thompson, Ben (2 August 2015). "Micachu and the Shapes review – renaissance woman goes back to basics". the Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- Diver, Mike (28 May 2009). "Micachu Interview _ Features _ Clash Magazine". the Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- "2017 OSCAR AND BAFTA NOMINATIONS FOR MICA LEVI". Purcell School. Purcell School. 25 January 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
- Barton, Laura. "Mica Levi". The Gentlewoman. The Gentlewoman. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
- "Professor Erik Levi". Royal Holloway. Royal Holloway. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
- "Micachu teams up with Brother May for 'May And Meeks' EP". DIY. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- "Rapper Ghostpoet talks about his struggle for success". 21 February 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- Burrows, Tim. Micachu and the Shapes: The Shape of Things To Come, "The Telegraph, 4 March 2009"
- "Resident Orchestras & Artists in Residence". Southbank Centre. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
- "Tirzah: "I'm Not Dancing" | Tracks". Pitchfork. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "Manchester International Festival Full Programme Press Release 2017" (PDF). MIF.co.uk. November 2017.
- Records, Rough Trade. "Rough Trade Records". Rough Trade Records. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
- Ubaghs, Charles (17 March 2009). "Album Review: Micachu - Jewellery / Releases / Releases // Drowned in Sound". Drownedinsound.com. Archived from the original on 26 March 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
- Hogan, Marc. "What's the Matter with Sweden?" in Pitchfork.com 29 March 2010
- "Micachu | Listen and Stream Free Music, Albums, New Releases, Photos, Videos". Myspace.com. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
- "Micachu and the Shapes and London Sinfonietta present: CHOPPED & SCREWED", Rough Trade Records.
- "ATP curated by Animal Collective - All Tomorrow's Parties". Atpfestival.com. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "Good Sad Happy Bad critics reviews". Mertacritic.com. 10 September 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
- "Pop and Jazz Listings and Albums for the Fall Season". New York Times, 7 SEPT. 2015
- good sad happy bad (Video). 23 March 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
we just wanted to tell you that rather than being a recording "good sad happy bad" is the new name of our band.
- Micachu on Facebook (23 March 2016). "Micachu shared a Page". Facebook. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
Our band name is now GOOD SAD HAPPY BAD and we did this because we feel our last record was more than just a recording.
- Eede, Christian. "Micachu & The Shapes Change Name To Good Sad Happy Bad". The Quietus. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
- Levi, Mica (15 March 2014). "How Mica Levi got Under The Skin of her first film soundtrack". the Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- "Mica Levi: Under the Skin OST Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- Tapley, Kristopher (19 October 2016). "'Arrival,' 'Jackie' Composers Push Boundaries of Music and Sound Design". Variety. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- NME.COM (28 December 2014). "Mica Levi on scoring 'Under the Skin': 'I dreamt the world came out of Scarlett Johansson's face' | NME.COM". NME.COM. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- "LAFCA". LAFCA. Archived from the original on 30 December 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
- "Mica Levi earns BAFTA nomination for Under The Skin score". FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- "Mica Levi scores Jackie Kennedy biopic starring Natalie Portman". 16 August 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
- Beauman, Ned (23 February 2017). "Mica Levi's Intensely Unconventional Film Scores". The New Yorker. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
- Debruge, Peter (25 September 2020). "'Mangrove' Review: Steve McQueen's British Courtroom Drama Does Justice to a Landmark Case Against Black Activists". Variety. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
- archyde (23 December 2020). "Mica Levi, bottom in rubble". Archyde. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
- "News | DOWNLOAD: Kwesachu Vol. 2". The Quietus. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
- Jayson Greene (17 April 2014). "Mica Levi: Under the Skin OST Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
- Bloom, Madison; Monroe, Jazz (16 December 2020). "Listen to Mica Levi's Surprise New Album Ruff Dog". Pitchfork. Retrieved 25 January 2021.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Vincent, Alice (11 November 2013). "British Independent Film Awards: Dame Judi Dench and Scarlett Johansson nominated". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (9 January 2015). "Bafta nominations 2015: full house for Grand Budapest Hotel but Mr Turner and Selma snubbed". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Gire, Dann (4 December 2014). "Reel life: Dann & Raymond aim for the stars". Chicago Daily Herald. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- Barraclough, Leo (13 December 2014). "Pawel Pawlikowski's 'Ida' Wins Best Film at the European Film Awards". Variety. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- White, White (18 January 2015). "Boyhood Takes Three At The London Critics' Circle Film Awards". Empire. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Bloom, David (7 December 2014). "'Boyhood' Wins Best Picture, Three Other Awards From L.A. Film Critics". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Patches, Matt (7 December 2014). "'Birdman,' 'Boyhood' lead Washington DC critics awards nominations". HitFix. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Brosnan, Seán (27 February 2015). "Irish composer Patrick Cassidy nominated for ASCAP Award for 'Calvary' score". Irish Film and Television Network. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
- Nordyke, Kimberly (24 January 2017). "Oscars: 'La La Land' Ties Record With 14 Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 24 January 2017.[permanent dead link]
- Miller, Neil (15 December 2016). "2016 Austin Film Critics Awards Nominees, 'Moonlight' and 'Arrival' lead the way in AFCA's 2016 nominations". Medium.com. Archived from the original on 22 June 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
- Shanley, Patrick (11 December 2016). "'La La Land' Named Best Picture by Boston Society of Film Critics". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 12 December 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
- Ritman, Alex (9 January 2017). "BAFTA Awards: 'La La Land' Leads Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 10 January 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
- "The 2016 Chicago Film Critics Association Award Nominees". Chicago Film Critics Association. 11 December 2016. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
- "La La Land Leads with 12 Nominations for the 22nd Annual Critics' Choice Awards". Critics' Choice. 1 December 2016. Archived from the original on 30 November 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
- "DFW Film Critics Name 'Moonlight' Best Film of 2016". Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association. 13 December 2016. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
- "Justin Timberlake & Alexandre Desplat Among Winners At Hollywood Music In Media Awards". Deadline. 18 November 2016. Archived from the original on 19 November 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
- "Houston Film Critics Nominations for 2016 Films". MovieAwardsPlus.com. 13 December 2016. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
- "'Moonlight' and 'Love and Friendship' Lead London Film Critics' Circle Nominations". Variety. 20 December 2016. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- "42nd Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards 2016 Winners". Los Angeles Film Critics Association. 4 December 2016. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
- "The 2016 WAFCA Awards Nominations". 3 December 2016. Archived from the original on 31 January 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- "Premios Platino Xcaret 2020: "Dolor y gloria" y "La casa de papel", las grandes triunfadoras" (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 June 2020.
- Alter, Rebecca (20 December 2020). "The L.A. Film Critics Association Names Small Axe Their Best Picture of 2020". Vulture. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- Micachu website
- Accidental Records profile
- BBC newsbeat: Is Micachu the next big thing?
- Michachu page at Rough Trade Records
- Interview - December 2009 -(Portuguese web-zine)
- Micachu vs Kwake Bass "Meat Batch Mix" on Andrew Meza's BTS Radio
- Interview with Mica Levi on Headphone Commute, December 2014
- Mica Levi at IMDb